New Orleans can’t catch a break right now.

It seems that the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board is facing a completely different crisis than the one they originally expected.

As Hurricane Ida was making its way to the Louisiana coast, city officials in New Orleans asked residents to conserve water by not using appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and even minimizing showers and toilet use. While some didn’t think too much of this request, others raised an eyebrow and wondered if something else was wrong with the sewerage and water system in the city.

The reason that the city officials gave for making this request was simple, the power to the city’s sewerage lift stations had been lost. However, as the destruction of Hurricane Ida started to become clear it was soon realized that there was a much bigger problem going on.

On top of losing power, the East Bank water treatment plant flooded causing the agency to have to make the tough decision to dump untreated sewerage into the Mississippi River.

“They have sewage at the moment going into the river, and they had to notify the Department of Environmental Quality of the state and the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA at the federal level.”

“You want to process it and get it out, but you also don’t want it in the streets of our city and you don’t want it in people’s homes and business. This was the only thing they could do.”- Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO over Infrastructure in New Orleans, La.

There have been no reports on exactly how much waste was dumped into the Mississippi River.


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